Last June, The Metal Grill—a bar and music venue at 5036 S. Packard Ave. in Cudahy—abruptly closed its doors. In its roughly four-year run, the venue hosted performances by such notables as Off With Their Heads, 88 Fingers Louie, Negative Approach, PEARS, Voivod, The Suicide Machines, Kip Winger, The Flatliners, The Copyrights, and dozens upon dozens of metal bands. Before the end of the year, the property—which formerly housed The Blue Pig and Vnuk’s Lounge—will be home to a venue and mini-arcade co-owned and operated by a familiar name in Milwaukee music.
Direct Hit! founding member Nick Woods and a group of other investors (including Chicago musicians/artists Andy Slania and Eric Baskauskas, Woods’ wife Kate, as well as seven additional investors living in Milwaukee, Chicago, Michigan, and Minneapolis) purchased the property. They’re currently renovating the 200- to 300-capacity space, with plans to officially open the yet-unnamed Cudahy entertainment hub before the end of the year.
According to Woods, the business will offer a selection of video games, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, domestic and craft beer, and “bar food modeled after well-known frozen party snacks.” Woods—who is responsible for bringing many of the bands named above to The Metal Grill, highlighted by his two all-day “Dummerfest” shows in 2015 and 2017—also wants the space to regularly host concerts, including all-ages shows that span all genres.
“Our goal here is to fill a void that’s existed in the Milwaukee area since The Globe East closed nearly 15 years ago,” Woods says in a press release. “Performers of all ages need a safe, stable, and affordable place to hone their skills, meet new people in their communities, and realize their visions for both themselves and their art, just like any pro athlete training in a gym. This isn’t a non-profit business by definition, and everyone in our group expects their investments to be protected, but we haven’t designed the operation to run as a high-volume service business to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. We want to build a long-lasting, inclusive, viable venue for creative people of every persuasion–that’s the real motivating factor.”
Check back for more updates in the coming months.